Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Walt's Wonderful Wonderland
Walt Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" is one of those movies which even if you haven't seen you feel that you have thanks to some of the great work by the artist department to create such amusing characters as the White Rabbit. Anyway beyond the amusing familiarity with a movie I am convinced I have never watched Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" is actually quite a curious movie which initially didn't do well with audiences but later found a new audience during the 60s thanks to its surreal, trippy animations. Its strange to think that a movie which struggled then became popular because for its trippy nature then ended up a family favourite.
Anyway from the purists sense Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" is actually not very good as it disperses with Lewis Carroll's dark elements and purely focuses on the comical fun of the story. In effect it makes "Alice in Wonderland" little more than a series of amusing set pieces focusing on the quirkiness of the characters from the White Rabbit to the Mad Hatter and the smoking caterpillar. And on top of losing the dark elements there are other changes to Carroll's story which will again frustrate fans of the author's original work.
But to be honest Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" was not made for those who loved Carroll's stories of Alice but for a young audience which explained why the focus was on being visual, quirky and pacey rather than on actually telling the story. And for its intended audience it works as whilst it ends up feeling like a collection of set pieces where we meet a character, get some quirky humour and often a musical number it makes you smile. Much of that is down to the animators rather than the writers as the animation of these quirky characters is so good that you end up spending more time taking in the look rather than listening to what they say. Although it has to be said that Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn and Sterling Holloway as well as many others do a good job of giving their characters the appropriately quirky voices needed to match the quirky animations.
What this all boils down to is that Walt Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" is fun for young children because of it being full of comedy set pieces with wonderful animations and amusing songs which move along at a lick. But for purists of Carroll's original stories it has a lot of issues.
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